Amazon toyed with yet another way of ingratiating itself into the lives of you and your family through an Alexa-enabled wearable for kids, Bloomberg reports. The device was considered for Amazon’s 2020 product roadmap, according to documents Bloomberg viewed, and it would have added to the company’s growing stable of kid-focused tech products.
The $99 wearable, codenamed “Seeker,” would reportedly feature GPS, voice activation (presumably for some kind of Alexa features), and be targeted for children ages four to 12. The finer details of the physical design of the device seem like they were still up in the air. Bloomberg writes the wearable could have come as a clip, keychain, or wristband. The goal seemed to be delivering exclusive Amazon Kids Plus content (formerly Amazon FreeTime Unlimited) while allowing parents to track and communicate with their kids. Amazon reportedly also worked with Disney on a wearable called the “Magic Band.”
This wearable wouldn’t have been Amazon’s first time at the kid tech rodeo. The company’s been pushing Alexa into kids’ playrooms and bedrooms via the Echo Dot Kids Edition since 2018. Amazon’s built some interesting functionality on top of its child-friendly speakers and tablets — like helping kids learn to read — but the company has also been criticized in the past for how Alexa might allegedly violate children’s privacy by storing voice recordings.
Despite the concerns over children’s privacy and the generally vague details of this wearable, it makes sense that Amazon would try to get into this space. Plenty of other companies have also made attempts, whether it’s Fitbit’s Ace 3 for tracking kids’ physical activity or Apple’s Apple Watch SE, which is just a less expensive smartwatch but was pitched with a focus on Apple’s Family Setup feature.
There’s lots of reasons to sell gadgets to kids (another source of valuable data, for one), but the most common seems to be that parents, despite how invasive it might seem, really like to track the location of their kids. Given how often my own parents use Apple’s Find My to check on the location of my younger siblings, if they were any younger, they’d probably be wearing some kind of kid’s wearable by now.